Giuseppe Capotondi’s first feature film, the 2009 La doppia ora has something that a lot of modern Italian “thrillers” lack, and that’s a fear factor. In recent years the word “thriller” has become a misnomer when it comes to Italian films and modern ones have been a far cry from the bloody tales of terror and horror that ‘70s giallo is known for. Movies like La ragazza del lago are called thrillers, but seem more like an ordinary crime/detective stories, with no red herrings and nothing truly unexpected.
And while La doppia ora still lacks the blood and gore, it’s suspenseful in the menacing and mayhem-filled way of any good psychological thriller, threatening that unknown danger that might jump out and say, “boo!” at every turn.
When foreign born hotel maid Sonia meets ex-cop Guido speed dating they seem at first just a couple of lost souls searching for love but it doesn’t take long to realize that something isn’t quite right. It’s Guido’s first stab at connecting with a woman in a meaningful way after the death of his wife and it goes bad fast when he invites her to take a romantic walk on the grounds of an estate where he’s working as a security guard.
In the end when it’s evident that the movie’s been screwing with the audience, and doing it as well as a Hitchcock thriller, it begs at least one more viewing, just to see if the clues were there all along. And they were.